The ball sailed into the air. Then Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton slammed the ball into the basket.
The sell-out crowd went into a fury. Ayton just threw down a lob off an inbounds pass from Jae Crowder that clinched the Suns’ 104-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. At least after a lengthy video review confirmed the play’s validity and the Clippers failed to execute a full-court inbounds pass with 0.7 seconds remaining.
No wonder Ayton said he completed the best play of his three-year NBA career after finishing with 24 points, 14 rebounds and one memorable lob that gave the Suns a 2-0 series lead.
“I never played so hard from the jump ball to the end, 150%,” Ayton said. “Usually it’s like 110%, but tonight it’s 150% and it’s 150% mentally. Just the level of focus and the things you have to really pay attention to, it’s really intense.”